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Hiring a Chief Financial Officer

If you are making this hire for the first time for your company, take it slowly. This person’s opinions and guidance will impact you and your company for years to come. A Chief Financial Officer or CFO really must fit your company and your personality. Since you will rarely make a move without their counsel, making this hire is of critical importance.

Hiring a Chief Financial Officer
So where do start? In making your CFO hire, make a list of what you need. Seems obvious, right? Things that should be on the list Actual experience as a CFO or key finance executive Industry experience CPA firm experience ( This is needed but not enough by itself. Public accountants do not get the full preparation to become a CFO.) Let them learn on someone else’s nickel.
If you are considering going public, then SEC experience is critical.

A CFO is not a great accountant or bookkeeper. They are so much more. They are the Chief Financial Executive in your company. They are the person responsible for managing all financial aspects of the company today and for the future. If you company needs capital, your CFO should be able to identify the sources and access it. They should be key in setting profit goals, liquidity goals, managing tax strategies. Preparing for exit strategies for ownership is one of the most critical roles. All decisions should me made contemplating a possible ownership exit strategy.

Try them out.

If you can get away with it, hire them on a consulting basis for a while. That way you can take a test run for a while on some special projects before you make the final decision. This is not a person you will add “lightly” to your organization. Not the kind of person you want to add and then 6 months later have to explain to the world why they are gone. Since you have never made this type of hire for your company before, this is a great way to ease your way in to hiring your first CFO.

Good Luck!

31st January 2011
written by Larry Serlo

Vendredi 11 Février 2011

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